Reflection paper

Reflection Paper 2

(minimum 750 words; no maximum)

One theory of technology puts forth the idea that technical things, or artifacts, have value-laden qualities. Furthermore, some of these value-laden qualities may include political values. As a consequence, any sharing of that artifact between different people would entail a sharing, and perhaps a spreading, of those same political values. But what does this mean?

Put another way: oftentimes, introducing new technologies into different cultures require their people to adapt or change their lifestyles, including the sphere of life we might call the political (that is, how and where they work, how they build cities and infrastructure, how they form organizations and institutions, and select leaders, etc.).

For this assignment, consider whether or not some technology (of your choice) possess inherently political values. Do research on how that technology has influenced the political behavior of another country’s people outside of the US and Canada, regardless of where that technology was first designed and developed.

Required Reading/Citation: Langdon Winner, Do Artifacts Have Politics?

In your write up, be sure to:

1. Describe the relevant factual details of the case you will be discussing (i.e., the technology, where it was first developed, how people are using it in another country, etc.).

2. Take a position on whether or not the technology possesses inherently political qualities. Explain.

3. Take a position on whether or not it was ethical to introduce the technology into the country you chose.

4. Give an argument for how you reached your conclusions and defend your position appealing to the theories of technology discussed in class and readings.

Exceptions

Please do not use GMOs, Uber/Lyft (rideshare services), AirBNB, nuclear power or nuclear weapons, or any form of timekeeping devices as examples in your paper. Furthermore, please restrict your choice of example to the history of the 19th-21st centuries.

Grading

Write an essay that addresses the questions above. When you respond to these questions, you should be specific and cite specific details from the readings, class lectures, and your own research. You may provide references from your own research, but only in addition to material provided by the course. Also, you MUST make sure to cite your sources in your response and include a reference list at the end of your essay. Citations must be from reputable sources. Sites like Wikipedia, about.com, etc. are NOT considered acceptable sources.

Higher credit will be given for responses that show evidence of a systematic and comprehensive understanding of the topics involved.

You are encouraged to review the rubric for this assignment and make sure that you answer each question in detail and with specifics.

Correct use of English is a fundamental requirement for your papers to be graded.  If errors in English make it difficult for a grader to understand your sentences, or excessively slow down the grader to mark your technical errors, your paper will be returned to you for further work on its English, and your grade for the paper will be deferred until it is resubmitted with corrected English.  If your assignment is returned for an excessive number of grammatical errors, you will be allowed to rewrite and resubmit it within two weeks of the original return date.  If not resubmitted by the date set by your instructor, you will receive a zero (0) for the writing assignment.

Formatting

Standard font, preferably Arial in either 11pt or 12pt.

MLA, APA, or any other format is acceptable provided that it is consistent through the entire paper. Please, no cover sheets.

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